Happy Holidays from EDC

 


Happy Holidays!


EDC Creations, The Sankofa Literary Society and The Black Authors Network announced the launch of their 2008-2009 Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign, bringing readers and authors together to help improve literacy. In 2004, during the Christmas holidays, Ella Curry, the founder of EDC Creations, reached out to women’s groups and literary organizations to help promote early literacy by giving new books to children from low income homes. Today, the “Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign,” seeks to expand even further by giving the Gift of Knowledge daily!


Based on the “each one teach one model” our goal is to help people introduce reading and new books to their family and friends. Instead of giving expensive gifts that don’t shape lives—-let’s “Give the Gift of Knowledge” and help to strengthen our future generations!


Each year thousands of people — educators, concerned parents, community leaders, authors, poets and publishers — devote their time and resources to presenting the reader with great books! However, too many outstanding books do not get the attention and reader support that they deserve. It is our mission to connect readers with these hidden gems and bring them books that will change their lives.


Each week EDC Creations will sponsor bookclub chats, live readings from authors, podcast presentations, seminars, community relations discussions, and radio shows that deliver the best our writers have to offer. All we ask is that the readers of the world spread the word. Please share this email with 10 people in your network.


 
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EDC Creations has a new eMagazine  that we would like you to check out. This holiday season Give the Gift of Knowledge. Send a love one a book that could change their lives! Enter the special magazine by clicking here.


Give the Gift of Knowledge. Want to make a difference in someone else’s life this holiday season? Donate an a book to a child, senior or your co-workers for the holidays. EDC Creations has brought the best in today’s literature in our new magazine. Explore new book releases, audio book previews, poems, short stories and written interviews with bookclubs and community leaders by following our EDC Creations eMagazine Blog.  Click here to enter magazine



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EDC Creations 2009 Literary Weekends
It is our mission to help new authors gain exposure for their books. In the New Year, we will host weekly workshops and live readings in DC area hotels. Each session will be videotaped by Botts & Associates, there will be a theme for most genres and refreshments will be served. Please follow our blog closely to find out all the details. If you are an author or bookclub in the Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, and East Coast area, reach out to us to be included in these weekly presentations. Please follow our blog closely to find out all the details.


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Holiday Book Promotions
For the month of November only, EDC Creations is offering full promotions on the main EDC Creations site and the new EDC eMagazine  for $75.00. That’s right, you can advertise on either site, on the page you select for $75.00.


However, there will only be 5 books showcased on the front pages, these are based on first come, first served basis. We are offering our eblast services for $75.00 as well. All EDC Creations advertisements are $75.00 for November. Email Ella to get started promoting your book today: elladcurry@edc-creations.com



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Every Author Needs a Website–A Control Center
MySpace is a good social network for promoting your books. It is not like having your own control center, a virtual office if you will, authors need websites. If you want to appear industry savvy and to be taken seriously in your efforts, you need a place to represent you and your books in style! EDC Creations will start offering free consulations on this subject.


In order to help new authors represent themselves in the best light, EDC Creations will now offer starter websites for $399.00, complete with the bells and whistles. Contact Ella today to start your new year off right! We will only create 5 sites per month. If you would like a new website before the new year arrives, email Ella today.


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The Black Authors Network Talk Show is looking for authors and poets to read Christmas, Kwanzaa and holiday material on the radio show. If you would like to write a short story or poem to be read on air, please email Ella Curry, the producer at: elladcurry@edc-creations.com.  Each night in December 2008, we will host a speaker reading their work live! This is a community celebration, you are all welcome to create something special and give it as a gift to the world. We would also like to host children reading their poems too!


Black Authors Network Talk Show
www.blogtalkradio.com/Black-Author-Network
Meet us at:  8pm-10pm EST  Mon., Wed., and Friday nights
Authors dial-in number:  (646) 200-0402


Chat live with the guests in our chat room during the show
www.blogtalkradio.com/Black-Author-Network



Warmest regards,


Ella Curry, President/CEO EDC Creations
Black Author Network Radio-Founder
Sankofa Literary Society-Founder
A Good Book-Marketing Director
Xpress Yourself Publishing-Publicist
WoMEN-NPower (DC Chapter) Member
EDC Creations is on  The Black Men in America blog!

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Look at what God can do!

 

 

It is August 28, 2008, and I am in awe of what we can accomplish.  Today we have achieved what many considered impossible.  In no other country would this occur but in America.  Barack Obama has been nominated as the first African American presidential nominee.  I don’t know about you but I am inspired and motivated.  Look at what God can do.

We live in a country, where 50% of African American males drop out of high school and are 6 times more likely to be victims of homicide.  In a country where more than 28% of Black males are imprisoned even though they only make up 12% of the United States population.  Brothers and sisters we are a population crying out for help and until recently, no one seem to be listening.  I don’t know about you but that information is astounding. 

Are you aware that 70% of black babies are born to single mothers?   No, I am not just speaking of teenage mothers.  People we are a country in crisis.  African American families need their fathers and brothers.   Looking at the statistics, makes it seemed unattainable.  But after listening to Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, I believe he has given us new HOPE…..SOLUTIONS.  This is not television.  It’s real life.

After today, we should never feel limited by our environment or our circumstances.  We should never make excuses for what we have not done or feel sorry for ourselves.  As I listened to Barack speak, tears filled my eyes and the eyes of many attending the Democratic National Convention.  We did not shed tears of sadness but tears of joy and anticipation.  I am ready for this revolution.  As a child born in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, I understand where we’ve been and the progress we’re making.  This is big….historical.  Some of us have been so overwhelmed and preoccupied with events that occurred during the last 8 years that we almost forgot that we had a voice.  It’s time to step up and speak up.

From this day forward, I pledge to do all that I can to heal our families and remember that it is not about me.  Parents take a moment and talk to your children about achieving their dreams, setting goals and the importance of education.  Encourage them to live each day to the fullest.  Let them know that as Americans they can BE anything that they choose to BE and no one has the right to tell them that they can’t. 

Furthermore, teach your children about the importance of community service, helping others and loving one another.  If everyone took the time to help just one person, we could create a better world…..a better world for our children and generations to come.  People Barack Obama is a great leader but he cannot achieve his dream, alone.   Are you ready to Pay it Forward?

 

Arlether Wilson, Author of “Rewriting the Script”

www.arletherwilson.com

arlether@rewritethescript.com

August 2008

 
 
 
 
 

CNN Black in America- Andrea Version

 

CNN’s Black in America

My Version of That Story

by Andrea Blackstone

 


    Last night, I met with some friends in a cozy spot, chatting about business and life. To the right of our booth, a flat screen commanded our attention. In my between laughs and brainstorming, the majority of patrons paused when the segment began. In fact, nearly everything ceased. Forks rested on plates, and robust chatter quieted. Most of the patrons of the quaint spot in DC, were people of color who stopped by to unwind after a long day at work. If someone is speaking about a group to which he or she belongs, most people instinctually take interest in wanting to know exactly what will be said about them. In this case, “them” was “us.” You know, black folk.  My eyes followed a few scenes that included a glimpse of a neighborhood, then a shot of black hands clenching steel prison bars. I can’t speak to the entire show, since I couldn’t manage to stomach the entire presentation, but when large images of the stereotypical black inner life city met my eyes, I sighed with sheer disappointment. I expected something else that could make me feel like someone with the power to bring issues to the public would tell more about us…this time. Initially, my heart was filled with hope, but my attention span soon waned in a familiar way. I also observed several other patrons resume conversations and continue eating. My neighborhood doesn’t look like that, nor the one where I grew up. I don’t know anyone in jail, although I’m not saying that I’ve never known anyone who hasn’t been incarcerated. With that said, I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t truly say that I couldn’t relate to those images. 

 

    I was sitting in the presence of a young woman who has been a business owner since 18, and a former DEA agent who is highly respected, not just in The District, but all around the world. Both are females–African-American females. I consider the stories that my father told me of wearing under clothes passed down from white troops, when he was a young man in the military. They were patched up to inspire a second life. He also explained that worn out shoes were repaired and given to black troops to use. These examples are only the beginning of the discourse that dovetails with equality. There were countless substandard conditions, before integration. Nevertheless, many African-Americans persevered, and proudly served and made great contributions to the United States. I also consider someone else who came to sit at our booth–a witty black surgeon who worked at Howard University Hospital. He wasn’t stuffy or arrogant. He greeted me like any other person would. When his friend revealed who he was, and what he’d done, he waved her off, as if his accomplishments were nothing special. Always “the smart kid,” it turned out that he broke some sort of age record, but I won’t spend all of my time name dropping here.

 

    In the midst of that conversation, the series continued to play. An avid people watcher, I felt dizzy with mixed images. One played on TV, while others continued to unfold in real time. The ironic thing was that CNN’s story of being black in America was nothing like the story that had been written in the place where I was seated. I soon noticed a small business owner slumped over, feeling tired. He sat down on a padded stool to take a break from standing on his feet all day. He obviously put in a hard day’s work, where people stop in to unwind and enjoy home cooked victuals. His wife continued serving customers as he wiped his face. I watched him drift off, until someone said goodbye. When he heard his name called, he perked up and answered, lively and warm. My imagination ran wild in that little dive. Everyone there had a story. The kind of story each patron owned probably won’t ever make it TV, yet they too are black people living in America. And for the record, affirmative action was not relevant to any story that I heard that evening. Each individual worked hard to qualify, and press forward, just like any other American. We have a history of overcoming obstacles, yet all too often, the ills of a certain segment of our population becomes the focus of what gets dissected and discussed at length. Here we go again, but do most of “us” expect anything other than the status quo? When one person makes a mistake or commits a crime, does society hold it against our entire race?

 

    I learned to have faith in more than what the media tells me, during my formative years. I read so much news online, and listen to so much talk radio, I often forget to power on the bube tube. My father raised me to value news and business programming like CNN. He always told me that watching certain programming, and listening to certain types of discourse, provides insight regarding how to prepare for tomorrow. As a result, I quickly grew eager to find out what was going on all around the world. By age nine, I was addicted to The Diane Rehm Show on 88.5. I soon learned that Rush Linmbal’s views could make me heated in a hurry. Nevertheless, my father, who was a single parent, taught me a lesson in something far bigger. The media is a powerful force. Within the structure of it, viewers or listeners will enjoy the manner in which a given topic was explored, while others will leave segments feeling the sting of the power to inform. Opinions are just that, yet interpretations of social ills, and how various people rise and fall, are a part of the grand presentation. How we deal with life, and how we interact with others in this world, gets jammed into segments, which will also undergo editing. Every angle can’t be covered. In fairness, that’s just an impossible task. Although most of us are well aware of the aforementioned, the final product is at the heart of the matter. Thus, my version of CNN’s Black in America Series connects with the issue of responsible journalism. Do journalists have a moral obligation to explore both sides of any issue? That premise can’t be enforced, but lately, I’ve been questioning what I feel “good” journalism entails. I’ve grown weary of recycled issues with stale presentations. Some conclude that the lack of diversity in presenting stories is an intentional endeavor, while others chalk it up to the way media works, because it’s just too hard to change their game. You choose; I’m just here to give you yet one more version of my feelings of being black in America. I too can’t cover it all in one opinion piece. What I can do is offer food for thought, based on my experiences living as a black citizen in America.   


    After my time with my friends came to a close, with a sheet of plastic over my head, I ran toward my door, my mind twisted with introspection. I wondered how I’m going to get to the next level in my life, and what the world could assume about me, just because I’m black. All I can do is put in time and effort, hoping that a substantial door will open some day. To date, much of my life has been spent in school, or trying to find one solid job where I can put my skills to use. With that said, something is better than nothing. Life is not a perfect experience, whether you’re black, white, or other. I thought of the story I’ll soon be penning about my father’s relatives. It doesn’t involve gossip, sex, scandal or drugs. It’s just a human interest story that speaks to humanity–to people of all colors– as well as the reality of an ultimate sacrifice. I also consider role models like every black man who goes to work wearing a suit and tie, or blue jeans and a crisp T-shirt. All of them are gainfully employed. Professional or blue collar, they are not sitting in jail, or taking advantage of sisters or the system. Would someone please remind us of the number of black men who do hold degrees, own a business, or did fight for custody of their children? If the goal is to educate others about black people, these stories exist too, so why do producers often neglect to include more of their stories? 

 

    In the coolness of the night, I sprawled out on top of my comforter, realizing that my mother’s birthday is quickly approaching. What am I going do to this year? Somehow I’ll find a way to celebrate. This will be my fourth trip of remembering my best friend for life, the best way I can. I have no husband or kids to soften the blow, but that’s okay. Wait a minute–I don’t fit the mold either. No kids, no baby daddies? I spent so much time in school, taking note of broken marriages, and kids going through hell, I’ve walked on eggshells, trying to dodge pointless drama. I could’ve teetered on the edge of living a good or settled life, but I opted to keep striving for myself, on my own. The road has been difficult, but it is what it is. And as far as mom, I now choose to focus on the good times, not the manner in which I lost her. When life got rough, mom lifted me. “Don’t worry about it. Keep trying.” That was her mantra. I had a strong bond with my mother, and I always will. Now a motherless black woman, I didn’t lose my mother to drugs or violence. I lost her to cancer. My brother, a black man who holds an advanced degree in divinity, stood by her side, until the very end. Would a story like ours make it to a segment or a show? I doubt it. It probably wouldn’t make ratings soar, not even the part about my brother being attacked for recording our mother’s last few days of her life. Pardon me, I do know someone who has been to jail. My brother was arrested for doing that. A jury of his peers were all white men from our hometown. Nearly four years later, my brother called to inform me that he lost his lawsuit, thanks to police immunity, and more details that illustrate the other side of  black life in America. His story was brushed under the rug.  I was left feeling that any time we look at Mom saying hello to her friends and family on tape, the memory of that experience will resurface. My brother never even had a speeding ticket, but he soon found out what it felt like to be locked up, or go through the trauma of getting his record expunged. A few days after that experience, our mother died. Despite this occurrence, my brother hasn’t changed or become a bitter man. He finds strength through his faith in God, just as many African-Americans do in America. Many black people don’t hate white people, nor do a great portion of us judge people we don’t even know. Our mother was our best example. She still reminds me how much love can carry you through anything. That’s not a black thing; it’s a people thing. I suppose that’s why people of all colors and races loved her so much. In turn, we too embrace those who embrace us. 

     

    I recall a time when my first book was nestled inside of her tote bag. I sat next to her in a treatment room for cancer patients. Some accused me of being a gold digger, not realizing fiction was just that. I have no interest in taking advantage of a man who cracked the code. I want mine by earning it. The reason why I attempted to try my hand at writing urban fiction was rather simple. I couldn’t land a job in my field. As a reward to myself, I took matters into my own hands. Whatever people were reading most, I decided that I was going to try to write it. As an English major who attended a historically black college, I wondered if attending another school would’ve given me more clout in corporate America. I tried the other side, since things seemed to be more about strategy than if you’re trainable. I earned my M.A. in a year and a half, in a rare program, where few blacks rarely enrolled. After I finished graduate school, I recall sitting in interviews, qualified, yet chided for what I’d done. “What made you pick that program?” I’ve been told by recruiters to remove some of my credentials, just to land a so-so job. I worked hard for them, so why should I? My counterparts are praised for finishing the very same program. I crack open newspapers and magazines, and I never get an inkling that the majority thought it was a bad thing. I hear catty remarks all of the time, and get the brush off from both sides of the fence.

 

    Most recently, one person told me that she was looking to hire someone right away, yet her behavior indicated that I wasn’t even in the running to be considered. “Do you have an A.A. degree?” she asked. “Yes I do. I have a Master’s and two years of law school,” I explained. “Well, I’ll take your resume, but I’m still looking.” She floated over toward the coffee area, nearly rubbing in her ability to help me pay off my student loans, or keep me in misery. “Oh this coffee is perfect,” she crooned with a smile. Her co-worker stood next to her, sipping mocha, as they both indulged in office gossip. By the way, this woman was not white. (Figure it out.) Not to sound like a pessimist, but sitting in the lobby nearly an hour, then experiencing that little dig already told me I shouldn’t wait by the phone for her call. Been there, experienced that. How many years have I been through his? In a who-you-know-town, a degree can justify people being in the loop, while other qualified applicants would never be welcomed there. Deep down, I thought of throwing my hat in the ring to try to earn a PhD. If I did, it wouldn’t be for the right reasons. It would only be to gain a little more respect in this world, as well as this town. I want to be the head cheese, primarily because of cheesy people, and the possibility of better job security. Is another student loan bill worth it? Maybe so, maybe not. I’ve done all of the things I was supposed to do to live a normal life, yet recruiters yawn when I remind them of my degrees or student loan obligations. What they often are willing to pay is no less than insulting.

 

Even so, (repeat after me), something is better than nothing. I’ve held jobs that didn’t require a college degree, and taken trips to South East, shaking as I left work at night, as police escorted staff. I’ve also felt the sting of working for years with no benefits. Still, I reminded myself that many people out there had it far worse than I did, and still do. I often let the sun warm my face, crank my easy listening music, then slide up the highway. I had chains on me, and yes, they’re still there. I can’t find the groove I was groomed to like, so I fake it and hustle hard where my heart is happy. The writing profession is undervalued, and in my opinion, it’s much too hard to make a living solely by writing, at least for the average author. I contemplate returning to law school with mixed emotions. All of those things cross my mind, many days. It all comes back to someone who did embrace me with unwavering faith.

 

    I recall sitting next to my mom, trying to ease her worried mind, as she sat in a special recliner. Her veins were filling with bone strengthener, and all I could think was “I’ve got to sell these books for her.” Realizing success is of our own making, completing one little task for “us” would make me feel like I’d done something kind of cool before I die. But along the way, I promised I’d clean up the content and talk about things like this, in a book. 

 

I want to weave tales of my grandparents, two modestly paid professors in the South, at a time when mostly anyone didn’t have a degree. Mom’s wisdom planted that seed, and it has sprouted over the past few years. I’m fighting to officially pen those stories, as well as others that can reach young adults. I’m working hard to earn the right to take that ride, even if landing a book deal of that nature will prove to be extremely difficult. CNN’s special reminded me that more stories of the other side of black life should not only be told, but also supported. Our people have suffered various realities that some feel we should forget. How can we forget something if equity is lagging in 2008? That’s my biggest question about being black in America. 
    

    My first taste of that reality was getting the shaft in law school, simply because I picked the wrong school for the color of my skin. Although I grew up in the suburbs, Cinderella I am not. Now that mom’s gone, I have to face something else too. Where is the rest of her family? Some are lightly kissed by the sun, while others have faded into the trenches of white America. Even more complex, some are white, and our relation is very close. And where is the tiny little town in Virginia where my other grandmother grew up? Her mother raised a crew of children alone, so I understand. Native American ties, this time. 
What does it feel like to be black in America, knowing that blood of other races flow through your veins? Some of us still won’t mention it, even if that reality hits close to home, and some people regard mixture as a point of interest or disdain, so you’re not supposed to mention it, unless people pry. Most of the time, if people shoot a “high yella” joke your way, you’re supposed to laugh it off. At the other end of my gene pool, I consider my other grandmother who died when I was an infant. She was a maid, faithful church member, and part-time cook in her daughter’s popular soul food restaurant. My dad, the cashier in that establishment, from the age of 11, became a graduate from one of the most prestigious institutions around. He completed homework in the backroom, on top of a crate in between breaks or before his shift. Many of his siblings made it too. He also pulled groceries in wagons, and shined shoes to pay for his school clothes, during The Depression. Many other kids from the old neighborhood, who shined shoes, in brick-filled streets of a sleepy town, are now at the top of the heap. Once again, these people are black in America, too. Will someone ever interview more black people like them?    Lastly, my mind shifts toward two young people. One is nine, and was attacked in the inner city, by fellow students. It was a simple case of bullying the kid who was behaving as a normal student–no frills or wild antics in tow. The school did nothing but brush the event under the rug. Hearing that my niece had to endure many stitches, just for being the soul she is, auntie now has to plan a day to be with her, in hopes of doing a little damage control. I don’t want her to hate school because of what was done to her. The other is barely 21, battling a heart condition. I root for this young black man who is fighting to make his life better. Last year, he struggled through summer school. “Did you ask your professor for help?” I asked. I was informed that his mathematics professor wasn’t too helpful. He repeated the course, and began moving ahead after transferring to another community college with a mixed population. Now his health is failing, due to the stress of simply trying to make his start better than his beginning. Every day he took the bus in the city to get to college in the county, he navigated past gangs where wearing the wrong color shirt could get him killed. He too has been picked on for trying to make something out of himself. Should we not consider why things have spiraled out of control, and how such instances can impact our youth?  Some of them want to be saved. Will the world see their plight?    In closing, black life is not perfect, nor are people. Every race has its share of issues to overcome, and all of us are capable of making mistakes. Nevertheless, we should be judged as individuals, not as a group. Considering all that we have endured, I still feel that there’s more good to celebrate than bad to emphasize. I encounter so many people of color, struggling to make life better for their families and themselves. Some have been on the bottom of the totem pole, and vowed to sit at the top some day. Others are in mid-stroke, simply trying to stay afloat like most of us. Another segment may fall into the categories of those scenes I initially spoke of, during the beginning of this piece. Nevertheless, African-American people are diverse. All too often, we’ve been placed in one box. For those of us who are tired of sitting there, it’s time to take ourselves out of it, and expose our eclectic experiences, in this thing called black life. We’ve been there for too long, and I’m not sure if the average mainstream media outlets will ever give us a chance to set the record straight. To me, the most logical thing that some of us can do is hold hope near, making adequate efforts to distance ourselves from whatever statistics say. Personally, my inspiration comes from something simple and free. It comes from all of the positive black people who I observe doing great things in America! 

 

 
 
Andrea Blackstone majored in English and minored in Spanish at Morgan State University. After a two-year stint in law school, she later changed her career path. While recovering from an illness, she earned an M.A. from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland ahead of schedule and with honors. Andrea self-published her first two urban novels, and recently completed her first book deal with Q-Boro Books. Her nonfiction debut can be found in Chicken Soup for the African-American Woman’s Soul. A lover of all genres and outrageous characters, Andrea aspires to write a wide array of stories. Her future work will range from inspirational nonfiction to unconventional plots written under one of many pseudonyms. You may contact her at dreamweaverpress@aol.com.

 

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Andrea Blackstone was born in Long Island, New York, and moved to Annapolis, Maryland at the age of two. She majored in English and minored in Spanish at Morgan State University. While attending Morgan, she received many recommendations to consider a career in writing and was the recipient of The Zora Neale Hurston Scholarship Award.

After a two-year stint in law school, she later changed her career path. While recovering from an illness, she earned an M.A. from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland ahead of schedule and with honors. Afterward, Andrea became frustrated with her inability to find an entry-level job in journalism and considered returning to law school.

Jotting down notes on restaurant napkins and scraps of paper became a habit that she couldn’t shake. In 2003, she grew tired of waiting for her first professional break and decided to create Dream Weaver Press. A short time later she self-published  Schemin’: Confessions of a Gold Digger, and the sequel, Short Changed.  Andrea is also a finalist in  Chicken Soup for the African-American Woman’s Soul , and some of her original work will also be included in an upcoming urban fiction anthology. A lover of all genres and outrageous characters, Andrea aspires to write a wide array of stories. Her work will range from inspirational nonfiction to unconventional plots written under one of many pseudonyms. Andrea recently signed her first book deal with Q-Boro Books and looks forward to having a new work released under a publishing house.  

EDC Creations,EDC Creations Virtual Tours,Black Authors Network,Sankofa Literary Society,Ella Curry,African American Literature

Dancing Willow Tree Interview

Intimate Conversations With…Author Anita Ballard-Jones

Sankofa Literary Society Intimate Conversations With….Author Anita Ballard-Jones

Recently Ella Curry, CEO of EDC Creations (www.edc-creations.com) and founder of the Sankofa Literary Society had the opportunity to talk with the author of book The Dancing Willow Tree, Anita Ballard-Jones.

Join us in a Intimate Conversation With…Author Anita Ballard-Jones
Listen to a dramatic reading from The Rehoboth Road and The Dancing Willow Tree—You are going to love this!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Answer: I guess I am one of those authors who broke the mold. From my youth until my early fifties, I never though of becoming a writer, except that I wanted to write a memoir about life with my brother who was developmentally disabled. Then, I believe it was the Lord’s will that I write Rehoboth Road . Suddenly I was hooked on writing.

How long does it take you to write a book?
Answer: I wrote the first 100 pages of Rehoboth Road in one night. Then, I completed the remainder of the novel over several years. I was not a serious writer and only worked on the manuscript sporadically. When I retired, I competed the manuscript in a few months. I completed the first draft of The Dancing Willow Tree in six months, but I worked on it at least eight hours a day. My third unpublished manuscript, Ring Around The Roses, was written in one year.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Answer: I’m retired, so I can write anytime I want. Most of the time I write in the evening, but I only write new material when I’m inspired. There are two parts to my work schedule, the creative and the corrective (editing). If I’m not inspired to be creative, I never write. I use this time to review what I have already written and do as much editing as I can.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Answer: Working in a noisy environment. I like having the television or radio on. I really don’t like to be interrupted by family, but I like the family to go about their normal business around me. I don’t like to isolate myself in my office either. My family seems to understand when I’m working and they just move around me. I’ll work at the kitchen table or with my laptop in then living room or sunroom. I can tune out all the noise, but can spike to alertness if I’m needed. My creativity is stifled when I’m in a quiet place.

How do books get published?
Answer: I could write a book on ‘How to Get Published’. So let’s just speak about getting published. There are two ways to get published. You are lucky or unlucky 🙂 to be picked up by a mainstream publishing company. Unless you are a well known personality, your chances of being offered a lucrative contract are almost non existent. Most likely, if you are offered a contract, your advance will be under $2,000 and your royalty on the retail price of your book will be between 6 to 10 %. Your marketing budget will be zero or close to it, but worst of all, you will have signed the rights to your baby away for X period of years. If you think writing your novel was difficult, then get prepared to give up the next year of your life to market your book at your expense, and don’t quit your day job. Unless you are a best selling author, you will cry when you see your royalty check, because you know your book sold in the thousands; those low royalty percentages really hurt your pocket

The other way to get published is self publishing. You, the author can do for yourself what the mainstream publishing houses will do for you. Until you make that name for yourself and are willing to sign away the rights to your work, that lucrative contract will not come your way. After the cost of the book production and distribution, you will at lease have 25 to 30% profit on the retail price of each book. You will finance your own distribution and marketing expenses, but you will reap the benefits of your promotions and everything is tax deductable. Except for professional editing, you can cut the cost of producing you novel by learning to do some things for yourself:

-Becoming a license publisher. (Select a name for your company and go down to your local town hall and pay a small fee for a license and you are in business. Open a small business bank account.)

-Obtain ISBN numbers

-Obtain a barcode for each ISBN number when you need to use one.

-Obtaining a copyright

-Register your novel with the Library of Congress and obtain a Library of Congress Control Number

-Design your book cover

-Design your book interior and typeset your novel.

-Once your book is published register it with Bowker’s ‘Books In Print’

There are many books on the market, but I’ve found “SELF-PUBLISHING by Tom & Marilyn Ross to be the most informative.

I have been mainstream published and self-published, and I prefer to be a self-published author. I would not have been so eager to take this position a few years ago, but the Internet has made it possible for self-published authors to have great success, and book stores are more willing to carry self-published books in their stores.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Answer: From life and observation. Sometimes I hear or see a situation and I will make a note. I don’t use outlines. I only write when I’m inspired around a particular theme. Once my characters are developed they seem to take on a life of their own; this is more likely when my novel is inspired by a true life incidents.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
Answer: Early fifties. I wrote a memoir titled, BROKEN BOND. I have not published it yet. It’s a personal look into my life and I’m not ready to share it with my reader.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Answer: I love to fish; play the computer game, NEED FOR SPEED; go to the movies, and read, but I don’t like to read as much as I did before I became an author. It seems I do more book editing and that slows down my reading.

What does your family think of your writing?
Answer: They are very supportive and are always telling me about things I should write about.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Answer: When I was in high school (back in the late 60s), I remember telling myself there were two things I never wanted to be in life, a doctor and a writer. I was never a doctor, but I was a Treatment Team Leader, whereas I supervised doctors as a hospital administrator, and then I became an author. So I would say the most surprising thing I learned was that I could write. When my fans wrote to tell me how much they enjoyed my novel, I felt authenticated as an author.


How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Answer: I have two published books, REHOBOTH ROAD and THE DANCING WILLOW TREE. I also have three completed manuscripts, BROKEN BOND (my memoir), RING AROUND THE ROSES ( a novel inspired by a true story about six inner city children who raised themselves because their parents were drug addicts), and a series of short stories based on my personal experiences and observations. REHOBOTH ROAD and THE DANCING WILLOW TREE are currently my favorite, however, as soon as I publish my manuscript, RING AROUND THE ROSES I plan to submit it for consideration for a PULITZER PRIZE. I was more inspired to write this novel than I was when I wrote REHOBOTH ROAD . Ignorance prevented me from submitting REHOBOTH ROAD to the Pulitzer Foundation.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Answer: Be inspired when writing. Be your best critic. Write, re-write, re-write, re-write, re-write, etc. When you are inspired to write, then write. Don’t stop to correct your writing because you will loose your trend of thought. When your inspiration is gone, then correct what you have written.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Answer: Yes. My readers write me all the time and I love it. Most of the time I receive letters of praise, and there are a few who point out issues. Some of the issues are helpful and constructive. I try to respond to everyone within twenty-four hours

Thank you Anita for taking time to visit with the Sankofa Literary Society. As always it was a pleasure speaking with you. We look forward to seeing you at the top!

Warmest regards,
Ella Curry, 
President/CEO EDC Creations
Black Author Network Radio-Founder
Sankofa Literary Society-Founder
A Good Book-Marketing Director

Have You Ever Been Sexually Abused?

Have You Ever Been Sexually Abused?

 

by Stephanie L. Jones

 

 April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, as well as National Child Abuse Awareness Month

 

 

Child Sexual Abuse. It’s something that no one wants to talk about. It’s shameful, embarrassing, and humiliating. But it’s something that affects every family at some point in time. Therefore, we must talk about it.

One in 3 females and 1 in 5 males are sexually abused as children and 90% of the time it’s at the hands of a family member, close family friend, or trusted leader. It’s not a stranger on the street, but it’s someone the victim loves and trust. Some of the results of sexual abuse include low self-esteem, health problem, sexual promiscuity, teenage pregnancy, abortion, excessive spending habits, and problems forming and maintaining relationships.

  • 66% of teen pregnancies and abortions are preceded by sexual abuse.
  • 96% of prostitutes were sexual abuse victims.
  • 75% of rapists were sexual abuse victims.
  • 60% of children who experience abuse and neglect are more likely to be arrested at some point in their lives.

I know what it feels like to endure years of sexual abuse and suffer in silence. I was sexually abused for over seven years, beginning at age five. However, it wasn’t until I was almost 30 years old that I told someone about it and addressed how it affected my teenage and young adult life. Through prayer and spending time with God, I realized that what happened to me as a child didn’t just go away. God showed me how it led to one bad decision after the next. But, most importantly, I learned the steps to heal from it!

  1. What are some steps abuse victims can take to begin the healing process?

First, the person should pray and ask God to show them how they’re still being affected by it. There are side effects that seem to exist amongst all victims, but they do vary by person. Secondly, talk to someone! Keeping silent doesn’t make it go away or stop the pain. Sexual abuse is a heavy burden to bear alone. Last, forgive the offender. Forgiveness is a decision and something that a person purposes in their heart to do. It doesn’t make the abuse right nor does it mean they must have a relationship with the offender. It means letting go of the anger and resentment in one’s own heart. There may be other necessary steps. It depends on where the victim/survivor is at in life. But this is a great place to start!

  1. Only 15% of abuse cases are ever revealed. Why don’t victims tell?

There’s no one reason, but usually as a child, the victim is not aware of the seriousness of the situation. Sometimes they feel like participants and are afraid of getting in trouble. Oftentimes it’s an issue of fear. Ninety-percent of the time the offender is a family member or close family friend. No one wants someone they love or another family member to serve 10-25 years in prison for child molestation.

  1. What can other people do to help remedy this problem?

Be more selective about where and with whom they allow their children to spend their time, including with family members, friends, and leaders. Pay attention to children’s actions and conversations. Stop making sexual abuse the family secret! Keeping quiet only allows for it to go on generation after generation. Also, get children help when child-on-child sexual abuse takes place. This will prevent them from becoming teenage and adult child molesters.

Stephanie L. Jones, author of The Enemy Between My Legs, is a highly sought after speaker for schools, organizations, and churches. A sexual abuse survivor, she knows and understands the effects that it has on a victim’s life. She is committed to helping others, especially teenage girls and young women, find healing from the pain of their past. Purchase the book or connect with Stephanie confidentially at www.stephanieljones.com

 

 

 

Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity

Book Review: Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry for Purity by Robert Scott, Sr.

Posted: 06 Apr 2008 02:56 PM CDT 

 

Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry For Purity
By Robert S. Scott, Sr.

Reviewed by Wanda B. Campbell
For The Culture Clique Book Club
Amazon rating: 5

Sound the Alarm!
Finally, there is a comprehensive book on sexual sin with real solutions.

 

In Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry For Purity, author Robert S. Scott, teams up with seven others to tackle and dispel societal myths and to proclaim the truth as presented in the Bible concerning sexual sin.

The targeted audience for this practical guide is African American Christian males, struggling with sexual perversions such as, fornication, pornography, homosexuality, and adultery. However, the
Biblical principles outlined are not limited to ethnicity, but to all who believe in the delivering power of Jesus Christ.

Where other books conclude with identifying the immorality plaguing our communities, Secret Sex Wars: A Battle Cry For Purity, takes the reader by the hand and walks him through the battlefield and into his deliverance.

This book is a must read for every Christian male!

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Lift Every Voice (May 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802485510
ISBN-13: 978-0802485519

Guest Monica Carter Tagore

Guest Blogger Monica Carter Tagore

Author and Motivational speaker

Meet Monica Carter Tagore on  her April 2008 Virtual Book Tour
Monica will be the guest blogger for the week of April 6-12, 2008

Please visit this post often to read the inspiring messages left by author and motivational speaker Monica Carter Tagore. Join us in celebrating the release of her new book, Zoom Power: Your Key to Hitting Your Personal, Business and Financial Targets.
 Monica Carter Tagore is a successful business owner and award-winning author, who reveals her key to achievement, in her book Zoom Power: Your Key to Hitting Your Personal, Business and Financial Targets. She also packs the book with insights and advice from high achievers who are at the top of their field, including award-winning filmmaker and author William Joyce, bestselling author Judy Pace Christie, internationally known speaker Les Brown, self-made millionaire philanthropist Dr. Deavra Daughtry, and more.
Author and speaker Monica Carter Tagore

This is a book for people who are tired of doing what they’ve always done and getting what they’ve always got. It’s for people who are ready to make real personal, professional and financial changes in their lives. It’s for people who want 2008 to be their best year yet. Check out Zoom Power: Your Key to Hitting Your Personal, Business and Financial Targets.

Read her daily blogs below and please share your opinions, comments, and questions too!